Most of the technology in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina suggests some time before the 1990s but after the 1940s. Cellphones, so ubiquitous in the modern world since at least 2005, are conspicuous in their absence. Every phone call is made with a landline (or occasionally through magic). If there are any personal computers, even, they do not seem to play an important role. The cars mostly seem to be much older models, and several people—especially Sabrina—have hairstyles that seem to evoke an earlier era. Some of the cultural references are relatively dated, too: the characters talk a lot about Alien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or even "16 Going On 17", but I do not recall any references to Justin Bieber or the Spice Girls, or indeed, anything after 1990.

On the other hand, in terms of vocabulary and mannerisms, the human characters certainly talk more like teenagers from 2010 than like teenagers from the 80s, let alone earlier. Further, in terms of the culture of the school body and administration, the school often seems more characteristic of a modern educational institution than what one would likely encounter in a small town in some 30 or more years back. For instance, when Nick goes to the school, he joins the school LBGTQ Alliance; while the Gay Activists Alliance, probably the inspiration for most of these groups, was founded in 1969, it would have been rather unlikely to find an analogous high school club, let alone in a small town. Also, for what it is worth, in the alternate universe, Harvey (or his actor?) talks about #Habrina, with Twitter of course having popularized hashtags.

So in what time period does Chilling Adventures of Sabrina take place? Or does it not take place in any particular year?


1 Answer 1


This has been spoken about before, I’ll include the full quotes from the Express article below because it’s all kid of relevant. Interestingly though whilst originally planned to be set in the 1960s, they eventually settled on no specific time period or timeless.

The comic book series which the show is based on is set in the 1960s and features a number of flashbacks to the 1950s.

This first began in 2014 as part of Archie Comics and the Netflix series was initially planned to be set in the same time period, according to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.

He told E! News: “We originally were going to set it in the 60s which is when Sabrina first came out in the comic books, and we liked the issues that were going on in the 60s that we felt like we could explore—feminism, civil rights, Charles Manson, Woodstock, first man on the moon.

“There were certain things we thought would be interesting thematically to have as backdrops.”

However, he then revealed after meeting with Netflix’s Cindy Holland he started thinking about how relevant it was to modern life.

He added: “Women’s empowerment, women’s sexuality, women controlling their own bodies, all that stuff is happening now.

“You’re doing that now. We’re having these wars, all these rights are in question today, you don’t need to set it in the ‘60s.”

As a result he decided to set the show in a timeless period, much like fellow Archie Comics show Riverdale, including both new and older references.

Production designer Lisa Soper also spoke about the time period to Elle back in 2018.

She said: “When you watch the show you’ll see cellphones, you’ll see laptops, you’ll see Victorian dresses.

“Some of these witches and creatures are hundreds of years old, so we’re trying to show that layering of history, and also trying to give everybody in the audience a chance to grab onto something that they like and that they’re nostalgic for. We’re not locked into a time.”

Express, Sabrina season 3: What year does the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina take place?


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